Second batch of Russian COVID-19 vaccine expected next week

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More Guyanese are showing up to take the AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sputnik V vaccines as COVID-19 cases and deaths in Guyana continue to reach an all-time high.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, on Friday revealed that daily vaccinations have doubled since the campaign started in February, with some persons now eligible for their second jab. Dr Anthony also shared that the Sputnik V vaccines from Russia are already being rolled out with more doses expected next week. He did not give a specific date for the arrival of the second batch.

Guyana on April 2, received 25,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine; Guyana purchased some 200,000 doses of the Russian made vaccine (component one), through an arrangement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The government spent US$20 on each dose of the vaccine; this means that a total of US$4M was expended on the first tranche of component one.

During his daily COVID-19 update on Friday, Dr Anthony said the vaccination programme has seen an increase in the number of persons receiving the jab from about 2,000 persons daily to 4,500 vaccines per day. As of Thursday, April 8, 52,544 persons have been vaccinated and the Ministry of Health is on target with its vaccine distribution plans.

Guyana’s vaccine distribution programme started in February with 20,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm received on March 2, 2021. As such, Guyanese who received the Sinopharm jab are just about eligible for their second dose with roughly 60 persons receiving their second jab as of Thursday, April 8, 2021.

The Sputnik V Vaccine, like its Chinese counterpart, has a 28-day wait period for the second dose to be administered; the AstraZeneca Vaccine on the other hand requires a three-month dosage interval.

The Sputnik V vaccines have started to be utilised across vaccination sites after staff were retrained to administer them. The Sputnik V vaccines require a very cold temperature and cannot be re-frozen.

Dr Anthony again encouraged all eligible Guyanese to come out and take the vaccine, stressing that the benefits outweigh the risks.

“These vaccines are all safe, and therefore people should have no fear whatsoever in taking these vaccines because they are going to protect you. They would not prevent the infection from incurring, but if you do get the infection, you’re not going to get the most severe form of the disease and therefore it will protect you in that sense.” (Danielle Swain)

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